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French film director Georges Lautner dies at 87

PARIS (AP) — Director Georges Lautner, whose films from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are part of the French canon and still adored, has died.

He was 87. The cause of death was not announced. Of the dozens of films he made, "Les Tontons Flingeurs," which appeared as "Monsieur Gangster" for Anglophone audiences, was perhaps the most beloved. His films were often hilarious and wildly popular; lines from several have entered the popular imagination and quoted almost as if proverbs. His movies are still frequently screened on French television.

Lautner is credited with guiding a generation of actors, including Jean-Paul Belmondo. On Saturday, President Francois Hollande lamented Lautner's passing a day earlier, noting that his movies were "great popular comedies that became cult films of our cinematic heritage."

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